J Pediatr Infect Dis 2009; 04(04): 351-356
DOI: 10.3233/JPI-2009-0194
Review Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart – New York

Human metapneumovirus and pediatric patients: A mini review

Georgia Gioula
a  National Influenza Center of N. Greece, B’Laboratory of Microbiology, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
,
Vassiliki Kyriazopoulou-Dalaina
a  National Influenza Center of N. Greece, B’Laboratory of Microbiology, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
› Author Affiliations

Subject Editor:
Further Information

Publication History

24 November 2008

05 March 2009

Publication Date:
28 July 2015 (online)

Abstract

Acute respiratory tract infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children worldwide. Although the clinical manifestations of respiratory tract disease are easily recognized, the etiological agent responsible for disease is often not identified. In 2001 van de Hoogen et al. reported the discovery of a novel virus from children with respiratory tract illness in the Netherlands, which was designated human metapneumovirus (hMPV). Since 2001 hMPV has been reported in most parts of the world. hMPV seems to be an important respiratory pathogen that causes both upper and lower respiratory tract infections mostly in children, but in adults as well. The similar seasonal distribution of several other respiratory infections may result in coinfection with hMPV and other respiratory viruses, but the role that hMPV plays as a co-pathogen is still not understood completely. Retrospective serological studies have shown that hMPV, or a virus closely related to it, has been circulating for at least 50 years. Discovery of a new pathogen is always an exciting development in the field of respiratory viruses, although further studies are required to understand the pathogenesis of hMPV disease and the development of a safe and effective vaccine